If the NFL handed out trophies for preseason success, the Seattle Seahawks and rookie third-round selection Russell Wilson would have been given one for best team.
Unfortunately they don’t and any success teams desire to achieve has to be garnered over the course of a grueling 16-game regular season.
Wilson and the Seahawks learned that the hard way as they fell 20-16 to the Arizona Cardinals in a tightly contested road game. It wasn’t for a lack of opportunities or for any fault of the officials because the Seahawks had ample chances late in the game including six plays in the redzone to score a touchdown and had the officials give them two first downs and an extra timeout on that final drive when the outcome hung in the balance.
The problem was Wilson and the Hawks were unable to get anything done. The defense played excellent, holding the Cardinals to 43 rushing yards and 210 passing yards. In the second half, the Seahawks defense created 6 straight three-and-outs including one great interception by cornerback Richard Sherman that gave the Seahawks offense the ball inside the 35-yard line of the Cardinals.
Without two great returns from Leon Washington, the Seahawks probably would have lost this game 27-3. The offense only crossed the 50 twice on their own — on the first and last drives of the game. You won’t win games in the NFL, no matter how good your defense and special teams are, when your offense is that inept.
To be blunt and matter-of-fact, Wilson looked like a rookie playing his first NFL game. The offense was vanilla, too many three-and-outs, too many sacks and penalties and too many poor throws when time was actually there to throw the ball down field.
Balls sailed on Wilson, he threw WR screens behind the line of scrimmage resulting in one turnover and three eventual points for the Cardinals and he ran around far too much.
The Seahawks don’t have to accept this effort. They don’t have to settle for an offense that only netted 254 total yards and 139 net passing yards. They have a quarterback on their roster that has actually had success in regular season NFL games.
It’s time for head coach Pete Carroll to turn to Matt Flynn for week two’s contest versus the Dallas Cowboys as the starter. Give the guy you signed to a 3-year, $25 million deal to be your starting quarterback a chance. Now. Because if you don’t give him a chance now and you allow Wilson to continue as the starter after a performance like this, the only time you can turn to Flynn is if Wilson gets hurt.
Carroll named Wilson the starter for Week 1. That’s all that was ever announced, week 1. Carroll can easily name Flynn the starter for week 2 under the guise of trying to compare the two with a full game for each.
Give Flynn a shot. See what he can do and then compare his game with Wilson’s game and name a starter for the rest of the season as long as health remains a constant.
Because if you don’t do it now, when are you going to do it? This is a team built to win now, it’s not a time to let a rookie QB go through his growing pains. Especially not when you have a QB on your roster who can win NFL games right now.